Power of global data and analytics in strengthening the accountability and performance of public procurement

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Public procurement – the purchase by governments of goods, services and works – can be a powerful economic and social lever, delivering value for money, while also contributing to government objectives around integrity, inclusiveness, and sustainable economic growth.

What data and evidence already exists to support governments to achieve this potential?

In this blog we review three sources of global data on public procurement curated by the World Bank and what we can learn from each of them. They provide insights to assess the maturity and performance of national public procurement systems, identify weaknesses, guide reforms, and ultimately can contribute to strengthening the accountability and performance of public procurement.

Data on the regulatory environment and adoption of e-government procurement (eGP). The Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assesses the institutional framework for key aspects of procurement management: monitoring of procurement purchases, emphasis on open and competitive procedures, public access to procurement information, and access to appeal and redress arrangements.  The GovTech Maturity Index (GTMI) is a measure of digital transformation in the public sector across the globe, including the existence of an eGP portal, the eGP functionalities and whether eGP data are publicly available in open data (OCDS) format. To support assessments specifically focused on procurement systems, the Global Public Procurement Database (GPPD) captures data about country procurement systems, regulatory framework, and status of eGP implementation at the global level. For each country, the GPPD identifies the Public Procurement Agency, the Central Purchasing Body, the Public Procurement Law, and relevant clauses, such as preferences for SMEs, preferences for domestic firms, and the use of MEAT (most economically advantageous tender) evaluation methods. The GPPD was already used in multiple reports to track the maturity of eGP systems and the implementation of eGP modules in the Latin American and the Caribbean region (Figure 1) and in Africa (Figure 2). 


Figure 1. Number of eGP Modules Implemented in the LAC region


Figure 1. Number of eGP Modules Implemented in the LAC region

 Note: GPPD data. World Bank report (2021).



Figure 2. Pre-Award eGP Module Implementations in Africa


Figure 2. Pre-Award eGP Module Implementations in Africa


Note: GPPD data. World Bank report (2022).


Data on integrity and transparency in public procurement. Progress in the adoption of eGP systems and in open government across the world has made an enormous amount of digitized data on procurement transactions accessible to citizens, civil society, and researchers. A prototype of a global Procurement Anticorruption and Transparency (ProACT) platform – developed by the World Bank in collaboration with the Government Transparency Institute (GTI) – collects, harmonizes, and analyzes open data from national eGP systems from 46 countries and open data on World Bank and IDB financed contracts for over 100 countries. ProACT thus enables the analysis of data related to over 21 million contracts, more than 5 million suppliers and almost 1 million buyers. It allows to identify markets, buyers, and contracts with high integrity and transparency risks, and to compare integrity and transparency in public procurement between countries. ProACT demonstrates the power of open data and data analytics to strengthen the accountability of public procurement, and to guide policy reforms to address corruption risks in this area.

Data on firms’ participation in public procurement. The World Bank Enterprise Surveys collect a wide range of information on the business environment through interviews with firms, including on participation in public procurement, and it can be used to generate global statistics on firms’ experiences in the public procurement market. For example, this data shows that globally firms’ participation rate in public procurement is 18 percent, small firms are on average 12 percentage points less likely to participate in public procurement than larger firms, and 21 percent of firms with recent experience in public procurement believe that firms similar to theirs typically make informal payments or give gifts to secure government contracts.

These initiatives are useful resources and helpful starting points to guide reforms to strengthen the accountability and performance of public procurement. However, electronic procurement systems are not universal, and data and knowledge gaps remain even in countries where these systems exist. What are the most pressing challenges facing public procurement reform in the country where you work or that you are focusing on, and what data and knowledge would be needed to advance reform efforts? What are some of the most pressing needs for data and analytics in public procurement at the global level? Share your views with the international community below!

Alex Habershon

Program Manager and Global Lead for Anticorruption, Governance Global Practice

Hunt La Cascia

Senior Public Sector Specialist

Domenico Viganola

Economist at the World Bank’s Enterprise Analysis Unit

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